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reached the third floor, and was about to enter Mr. Seward's room, when he was confronted by Mr. Frederick W. Seward, the Secretary's son, to whom he made the same statement of his errand. He was refused admission, when he drew a pistol and snajiped it at Frederick without effect; he then struck him with it upon the head twice, with such force as to break the pistol and prostrate his victim, fracturing his skull. Hearing the noise, Miss Fannie Seward, who was in her father's room, opened the door, into which Payne instantly rushed, and, drawing a bowie-knife, threw hiniself upon the bed, and made three powerful stabs at the throat of Mr. Seward, who had raised himself up at the first alarm, and who instantly divined the real nature and intention of the assault. Each blow inflicted a terrible wound, but, before the assassin could deal another, he was seized around the body by an invalid soldier named Robinson, who was in attendance as nurse, and who strove to drag the murderer from his victim. Payne at once struck at Robinson and inflicted upon him several serious wounds, but
Mr. Seward, the instant his murderer's attention was withdrawn from him, threw himself off the bed at the farther side; and Payne, finding that his victim was thus beyond his reach, broke away from Robinson, and rushed to the door. The colored lad in the lower hall had run into the street for help, and Miss Fannie Seward shouted “Murder!"' from the upper window. The assassin, on reaching the upper hall, met Major Augustus Seward, another son of the Secretary, whom he struck with his dagger, and on the stairs encountered Mr. Hansell, one of the Secretary's attendants, whom he stabbed in the back. Forcing his way through all these obstacles, he rushed down the stairs, and finding, to his surprise, no one there to oppose his progress, he passed out at the front door, mounted a horse he had left standing in front of the house, and rode leisurely away.
When the news of this appalling tragedy spread through the city, it carried consternation to every heart. Tread
ing close on the heels of the Prosident's murder-perpetrated, indeed, at the same instant-it was instinctively felt to be the work of a conspiracy, secret, remorseless, and terrible. The Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, had left Mr. Seward's bedside not twenty minutes before the assault, and was in his private chamber, preparing to retire, when a messenger brought tidings of the tragedy, and summoned his instant attendance. On his way to Mr. Seward's house, Mr. Stanton heard of the simultaneous murder of the President, and instantly felt that the Government was enveloped in the meshes of a, conspiracy, whose agents were unknown, and which was all the more terrible for the darkness and mystery in which it moved. Orders were instantly given to close all drinking-shops and all places of public resort in the city, guards were stationed at every point, and all possible precautions were taken for the safety of the Vice-President and other prominent Government officials. A vague terror brooded over the population of the town. Men whispered to each other as they met, in the gloom of midnight, and the deeper gloom of the shadowy crime which surrounded them. Presently, passionate indignation replaced this paralysis of the public heart, and, but for the precautions adopted on the instant by the Government, the public vengeance would have been wreaked upon the rebels confined in the Old Capitol Prison. All these feelings, however, gradually subsided, and gave way to a feeling of intense anxiety for the life of the President. Crowds of people assembled in the neighborhood of the house where the dying martyr lay, eager for tidings of bis condition, throughout the night; and when, early in the morning, it was announced that he was dead, a feeling of solemn awė filled every heart, and sat, a brooding grief, upon every face.
And so it was through all the length and breadth of the land. In every State, in every town, in every household, there was a dull and bitter agony, as the telegraph bore tidings of the awful deed. Everywhere throughout the Union, the public heart, bounding with
exultation at the triumphant close of the great war, and ready to celebrate with a mighty joy the return of peace, stood still with a sacred terror, as it was smitten by the terrible tidings from the capital of the Nation. In the great cities of the land all business instantly stopped-no man liad the heart to think of gain-flags drooped halfmast from every winged messenger of the sea, from every church spire, from every tree of liberty, and from every public building. Masses of the people came together by a spontaneous impulse, to look in each other's faces, as if they could read there some hint of the meaning of these dreadful deeds—some omen of the country's fate. Thousands upon thousands, drawn by a common feeling, crowded around every place of public resort, and listened eagerly to whatever any public speaker chose to say. Wall Street, in New York, was thronged by a vast multitude of men, to whom eminent public officials addressed words of sympathy and of hope. Gradually as the day wore on, emblems of mourning were hung from the windows of every house throughout the town, and before the sun had set every city, throughout the length and breadth of the land, to which tidings of the great calamity had been borne by the telegraph, was enshrouded in the shadow of the national grief. On the next day, which was Sunday, every pulpit resounded with eloquent eulogies of the murdered President, and with such comments on his death as faith in an overruling Providence alone could prompt. The whole country was plunged into profound grief-and none deplored the crime which had deprived the Nation of its head with more sincerity than those who had been involved in the guilt of the rebellion, and who had just begun to appreciate those merciful and forgiving elements in Mr. Lincoln's character, whose exercise they themselves would need so soon.
Immediately after his death, the body of the President was removed to the Executive Mansion, embalıned, and placed in the Green Room, which had been prepared by suitable emblems of mourning for its reception. Near the centre of the room stood the grand catafalque, four